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Free Study Guide-The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas-Summary
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES

CHAPTER 27 - The Story

Summary

Caderousse requests that the Abbé not tell anyone that he is telling him this story since the men involved are now rich and powerful. The Abbé learns that following Dantèsí arrest, both M. Morrel and Mercédès tried to obtain details of Dantèsí arrest and leniency from M. de Villefort without success. Dantèsí father had refused to leave his room to live with Mercédès and had slowly sold all his belongings for food until he very behind in rent and died. Caderousse denounces Danglars and Fernand as the men who had reported Dantès as a Bonapartiste. Caderousse insists he was drunk and had not understood what was happening at the time and admits to having later said nothing out of cowardice when threatened by Danglars.

The Abbé learns also from Caderousse that M. Morrel had tried to rescue Dantès several times, having even given Dantèsí father money in a red silk purse. Morrel was now living in poverty, having lost five ships in two years and suffering from the bankruptcies of three large banks. Danglars made a fortune while employed in the commissariat of the French army during the war with Spain. He was now married for the second time to the daughter of the Kingís chamberlain and had been made a Baron. Fernand was drafted into the army, which he deserted to follow a general who went over to the side of the English. Under the restoration of the monarchy, Fernandís action was rewarded and he was made a captain during the Spanish War. He had since been made a colonel, received the title of count and was now the Count de Morcerf. While serving in Greece, he supposedly won the favor of Ali Pasha, who left Fernand a large sum of money when he died in the Greek war with Turkey. He was then made a lieutenant general and, like Danglars, now lived in Paris. Mercédès, initially devastated by the loss of Dantès, finally married Fernand and the two had a son named Albert.

When Caderousse once traveled to Paris to ask both Danglars and Fernand for money, neither man would see him but Mercédès had slipped him some money. Caderousse did not know what had become of M. de Villefort and the Abbé gives Caderousse the diamond to keep for himself, asking in return only the red silk purse left by Morrel for Dantèsí father. The Abbé leaves, and Caderousse leaves to find a jeweler to verify the worth of the diamond.


Notes

Dantès also learns from Caderousse that both Morrel and Mercédès were faithful and caring for his father while he was imprisoned. As a result, these two will escape vengeance. Notably, Dumas does not state outright that the "Abbé" is Dantès, and the reader is left to wonder, although there are strong indications by the actions of the "Abbé" that it is Dantès, whether it could be Edmond. This contributes immensely to the novelís suspense. In this chapter, we learn that Dantès considers Danglars the most guilty - "What has become of Danglars, the instigator, and therefore the most guilty?" Dantès leaves, genuinely hoping that Caderousse will overcome his poverty with the diamond he has given him.

CHAPTER 28 - The Prison Register

Summary

The following day, a man appearing to be an Englishman goes to the mayor of Marseilles claiming to be a clerk of the banking house of Thomson & French (one of Morrelís bankers). The man at the mayorís knows little about Morrel except that Morrel owes him money and refers him to another creditor, M. de Boville, the inspector of prisons, and the man that once inspected Dantès prison. The Englishman learns from the inspector that Morrel owes M. de Boville 200,000 francs and considers it lost. The Englishman offers to buy the debt, asking in return the particulars of the death of a man named Abbé Faria. He learns that the Abbé died five or six months ago from an attack of catalepsy, which the inspector remembers was accompanied by the attempted escape of Edmond Dantès, who had likely been drowned while impersonating the body of the Abbé. The Englishman is allowed to examine the documents regarding Edmond Dantès and secretly steals Villefortís accusation against Edmond, pays the inspector 200,000 francs and leaves.

Notes

Again, Dumas describes another disguise adopted by Dantès, this time as an Englishman named Wilmore, but does so without necessarily revealing that Lord Wilmore is actually Dantès. However, when "Lord Wilmore" meets the inspector of prisons, "the Englishman, on perceiving him, made a gesture of surprise, which seemed to indicate that it was not the first time he had been in his presence." Dantès learns that "Edmond Dantès" had been pronounced dead, and appears glad to hear it.

CHAPTER 29 - The House of Morrel & Son

Summary

Morrel only has two loyal clerks remaining, one of whom (Emmanuel) is in love with Morrelís daughter Julie. The other is a servant named Cocles. Morrel has no resources left and no way to pay his bills, due within days. Counting on the successful return of his ship the Pharaon for funds, he is devastated when it is lost in a gale. An Englishman from the banking house of Thomson & French arrives to say Morrel owes them a large sum of money due this month, and Morrel is embarrassed by his inability to pay. Morrel permits his surviving sailors to leave and find another employer. The Englishman gives Morrel a three- month extension to pay the debts and Morrel is grateful. As he leaves, the Englishman whispers to Julie that she will one day receive a letter from Sinbad the Sailor, and that she should do exactly as the letter says. Julie promises to do so, and seeing the surviving sailor who reported the loss of the Pharaon outside, the Englishman then asks to speak to him.

Notes

In this chapter, Dumas explores the misery of those who are honest (Morrel), all the while endeavouring to show that in the long-term, those who are good and honest will be rewarded while those who are evil will be punished. It is clear from this chapter that Morrel is honest and generous to a fault, as when he learns the Pharaon has been destroyed but the crew saved he says "Thanks, my God, at least thou strikest but me alone." Morrel speaks a great deal about the will of God, and is like Dantès in this respect. Dumas again returns to the theme from The Arabian Nights, as Dantès adopts the name "Sinbad the Sailor" in this chapter for the first time, a particularly apt nickname for Dantèsí circumstances, as the original Sinbad the Sailor was a sailor who became fabulously wealthy and who travelled the world. Dantès, also a sailor, is now also fabulously wealthy, and will spend the next few years travelling the world.

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